For one final time this season, the boys of NASCAR’s Cup Series fire the engines for the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway to race four hundred miles to see who will be crowned the champion. It has been an incredible season, and now four of the best drivers to ever do it will have a shot at the trophy.
Denny Hamlin started on the pole, but it was Kevin Harvick with the fast start. He jumped out front and quickly moved away from the field. Martin Truex Jr. was able to move past Hamlin into the second-place position, and he quickly tracked down Harvick in the lead. On lap 21, Truex Jr. made the pass on Harvick as Harvick was losing some long-run speed.
On lap 36, green-flag stops began to filter through. Harvick and Kyle Busch both came down first with Hamlin and Truex Jr. following on the next lap. Truex Jr. cycled back into the lead with now a four-second lead over the field. Truex Jr. continued to increase his lead as the rest of stage one ran green. With no one contending for the lead, Truex Jr. easily won the first stage of the race.
Martin Truex Jr. jumped back out front on the restart to begin stage two. Truex Jr. was able to increase his lead substantially with everyone else battling behind him.
Denny Hamlin began the green flag pitting cycle on lap on lap 118. Truex Jr. was the last to pit from the lead and he was unable to cycle back into the front. Kyle Busch took over the lead with Truex Jr. coming back to the track in third place.
Late in the stage, a caution comes out with John Hunter Nemechek spinning out. The field came down pit road for servicing; gearing up for one final restart in stage two. Kyle Busch won the race off pit road and jumped into the lead on the restart. Kevin Harvick leapfrogged him in turn two, and the pair rumbled down the backstretch. Busch repassed Harvick with two laps remaining in the stage and was able to win stage two.
Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin battled each other hard on the restart for the final stage of the race. On lap 209, Hamlin returns to pit road for service to bring him to the end of the race. The rest of the leaders followed suit and cycled down with Busch returning to the lead.
Denny Hamlin had to return to pit road after experiencing overheating issues. During his first stop, one of his pit crew members put too much tape on the front of his grill. This was a major setback for Hamlin as the rest of the race ran green.
Kyle Busch came out and continued to improve his lead on the rest of the field. For the second time in his career, Kyle Busch won the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Championship.
With this win, Kyle Busch has five wins to complete his 2019 campaign. It was another impressive season. This championship is a statement for him and his team. This was his only win in the playoffs, and it came at the perfect time. His team was receiving doubts as to whether or not they would be able to compete heading into the championship. Busch’s last win came way back in June at the first Pocono race of the season. It was impressive to see his fight and determination all the way through the playoffs, and eventually claiming this championship. At just 34 years of age, Busch will only continue to get better.
With a new decade around the corner, NASCAR will continue to implement change to improve the sport. Starting next year, there will be a schedule change. First off, Homestead-Miami will no longer be the site for the Championship race. ISM Raceway in Phoenix, Arizona will be hosting the championship. The Independence Day weekend race at Daytona International Speedway will now switch with Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The second Daytona race of the season will be the last race of the regular season. Martinsville Speedway will be hosting a night race in May, there are now two NASCAR Cup races at Pocono in one weekend. All in an attempt to shake up the normal routine.
Next year is sure to be fun, with a lot more excitement to come.